Indianapolis, IN -- In less than two weeks since Indiana was declared a major disaster area, $1,016,747 in grants and low-interest loans have been approved for victims of the tornadoes and severe storms. Already more than 1,300 residents in the 32 disaster-declared counties have applied for assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).
According to figures released by the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), $242,172 in Disaster Housing grants have been issued to Indiana applicants. The amount includes 231 temporary rental assistance grants, totaling $141,610 and 60 grants issued for emergency essential repairs, totaling $100,562.
In addition, 108 grants, totaling $350,475 have been approved for applicants referred to the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program. Administered by SEMA, the IFG program provides grants to individuals and families to meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance, or other federal, state, or voluntary agency disaster assistance programs. FEMA provides 75 percent of the funds for the IFG program and the state covers the remaining 25 percent.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has also approved $424,100 in disaster low-interest loans for five homeowners. The SBA has issued 860 loan applications to homeowners and renters and 161 to business owners. The SBA is the primary source of federal funds for long-term disaster recovery for owners of private property, including homeowners, renters, non-farm businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. These low-interest loans cover costs of repair or replacement of damaged real estate, personal property and business assets not fully covered by insurance or other aid.
Nearly 800 people have visited one of the joint federal/state Disaster Recovery Centers that continue to operate in the disaster-affected areas. Representatives of state and federal agencies, as well as voluntary organizations, are on hand to provide program and service information and answer questions. These are temporary centers so individuals should take advantage soon of visiting one of these centers if they would like more information on disaster assistance or their application.
The toll-free application number continues to operate. Individuals, families and business owners who suffered losses from the tornadoes and severe storms of September 20 should apply for disaster assistance by calling 1 800 621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1 800 462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. These numbers are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.